Can Sharks Get Tumors?

Sharks are amazing animals that have fascinated people for many years. They are famous for being tough and scary, but they are much more complicated than they look. People often wonder if sharks can get tumors, and we will explore that topic in this article.

Tumors in Sharks: What They Are and How They Happen

Tumors are when cells in the body grow in an unusual way. They can happen to any living thing, and they can be good or bad. In humans, tumors are dangerous because they can turn into cancer, which is a significant cause of death worldwide. Sharks do get tumors, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Research has shown that less than 1% of all sharks get tumors. Even though this is a small number, it still matters because it shows that sharks can get sick. Sharks of any species, like the great white shark, tiger shark, and hammerhead shark, can get tumors.

Types of Tumors Sharks Get

The kinds of tumors that sharks get are like the ones humans get. The most common is a type of skin cancer called melanoma. Sharks can also get fibromas, which grow in their connective tissue, and papillomas, which are little growths on their skin.

Possible Causes of Tumors in Sharks and Impact

Scientists don’t know what causes tumors in sharks. Some think it might be because they get too much pollution or heavy metals in their environment. Others believe it could be viruses or problems with their genes. Sharks also live for a long time, sometimes more than 100 years, which could mean they get more chances to have things go wrong in their bodies.

We don’t know much about how tumors affect sharks. Some tumors might not hurt them very much, but others might make it harder for them to swim, hunt, and survive. Tumors in sharks could also mean that there is something wrong with the environment they live in. If a lot of sharks in one area have tumors, it could mean that there is pollution or other things hurting the whole ecosystem.


In summary, sharks can get tumors, but it doesn’t happen very often. Sharks get the same kinds of tumors as humans, but we don’t know what causes them. Some tumors might not bother sharks, but others could be a big problem. Tumors could also be a sign that something is wrong with the environment. Scientists are still studying this topic to learn more about how tumors affect sharks and the ocean.